Ginger cake with lemon and pistachio icing

Neil Perry
Ginger takes the cake in this sophisticated recipe.
Ginger takes the cake in this sophisticated recipe. Photo: William Meppem

Some spices work harder than others, sharing their charms across main course and dessert. Here, ginger takes the cake. Source young ginger for the cake and use a microplane so it's grated really finely.

Ingredients

For the cake

1 cup golden syrup

3/4 cup caster sugar

3/4 cup sunflower oil

2 cups plain flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

dash of white pepper

2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 large free range eggs

100g finely grated ginger

For the icing

125g diced salted butter, at room temperature

2 cups icing sugar

1 tbsp lemon zest

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsps single cream

1/4 cup pistachios, chopped

Method

Line base and sides of a 22cm-diameter round spring-form cake tin with a double layer of baking paper, allowing a 2cm border above the top of the tin.

Combine golden syrup, caster sugar and oil in a bowl and mix well. Mixture will separate into layers. Set aside.

Sift flour, cinnamon and cloves together into a bowl and set aside.

Bring 1 cup of water to the boil in a saucepan, add bicarbonate of soda and stir gently into sugar mixture until well combined, then stir in ginger. Gradually whisk in sifted flour mixture then add eggs one at a time and mix well.

Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake at 170°C for 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into cake comes out clean.

Stand in tin for 10 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool.

For the icing, whip the butter with the paddle attachment in a mixer. Introduce icing sugar, one cup at a time, beating continuously on a low speed.

Add lemon zest and juice, beating in until smooth. Gradually pour in cream until you achieve a consistency that is easy to spread.

Ice the cake and sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Slice with a hot, clean knife and serve.